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Budget Protest at Parliament today

Written By: - Date published: 11:26 am, May 19th, 2011 - 54 comments
Categories: budget 2011, democratic participation, Unions - Tags:

Unions and community groups don’t need to wait till after the Budget is read to know they’ve been screwed.  They’re gathering today at Parliament at 12pm for a protest rally – come along if you’re in town.

I was talking to a union organiser today who said that one of her main worksites – politically apathetic most times (with all the love in the world) is up in arms over National’s cuts to KiwiSaver and Working for Families.  They’re feeling pissed and betrayed and who can blame them.  With any luck they’ll still feel like that in November.

54 comments on “Budget Protest at Parliament today”

  1. PeteG 1

    Odd timing, presuming they don’t know the details of the budget.

    The union protest will feature speakers including Labour leader Phil Goff, the Greens’ Metiria Turei, CTU president Helen Kelly and Alan Johnson from the Salvation Army.

    They aim to speak out about cuts to social and public services and send the message that all it will do is increase hardship, poverty and unemployment.

    If they prove to have guessed wrong will they have a retraction protest tomorrow?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      They didn’t “guess” wrong.

    • Deadly_NZ 1.2

      Jesus peteg Did you not even read the first line of the article???? Hang on I’ll save you the bother of using the page up key.
      here is the first line.
      “Unions and community groups don’t need to wait till after the Budget is read to know they’ve been screwed”

      Now unless you think they are psychic, then they are just people using that what god gave them but you seem to have been overlooked, the ability to reason and work things out. train of thought prob goes like this Last budget Crap, Services cut, wages static or dropping, prices soaring, comodities soaring, Earthquake, bail out for rich old bastards who played in the dodgy markets , making sure they don’t lose anything, may need a donation later, So when looking at all this and more they came to the thundering conclusion.

      WE ARE GOING TO GET SCREWED!

  2. chris 2

    The usual suspects. ‘The lets protest any way march’. ‘Gimee gimme – as its all about me’. The ‘yes lets make cuts as long as I’am not effected mentality’. Is this the way to equality ? me thinks not.

    • Ari 2.1

      Well, at least the last three words seem true.

      A recession is the time you’re supposed to be really careful about making sure you’re spending money on high-multiplier programs, like the ones the government is so fond of cutting, and perhaps think about cutting some of the spending that’s less useful, such as contracting out work that the government itself could do more cheaply and just as well.

  3. Tammy Gordon 3

    I would give anything in the world to be able to announce a retraction tomorrow saying we got it all wrong and there will be no cuts to KiwiSaver, WFF, Student loans or public services. Somehow I don’t think that’s going to happen though. But do you want to make it interesting, Pete G?

    • PeteG 3.1

      What about if there were acceptable adjustments to them considering the circumstances?

      Or do you think that government benefits, credits and services should only every remain the same or increase, and they should never decrease no matter what the economic conditions are like?

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        When economic conditions are tough and private sector spending is falling, the Goverment must raise new revenue from the wealthy and spend more into the economy.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.2

        Here’s the first headline from Stuff for you: “Working for families cuts bigger than expected”.

        • joe bloggs 3.1.2.1

          Under today’s changes the total cost of the WFF scheme will be trimmed by 4%, dropping from $2.8 billion now to $2.6 billion by 2015. That’s $200m in cuts by 2015, targeting families with working age children – neither earthshattering nor “bigger than expected”.

          New operating spending of around $4 billion which is tightly focused on frontline health and education services – a positive move.

          Compulsory employer contributions to Kiwisaver to rise to 3% – that’s a 50% increase over the current level – makes up for the reduction in Govt support.

          The “repayment holiday” for borrowers based overseas will be cut from three years to one year – at long bloody last! These pricks who hive off overseas after racking up huge debts take twice as long to repay their loans as those of us who have chosen to stay in NZ. About time they were brought back to play on the same level playing field as the rest of us.

          Student loan defaulters will have no more access to loans – the previous Labour government allowed student loan defaulters to borrow yet more under the loan scheme. Good to see that rort addressed.

          All kudos to the Nats for a fiscally responsible approach to a very difficult economic climate.

          • mickysavage 3.1.2.1.1

            JB the figures are premised on considerable growth.  They expect 4% this year.  There is not the slightest chance that this will occur and when it does not occur we are suddenly in a big financial hole.  This really is smokes and mirrors stuff.

            • PeteG 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Do you think they should be cutting expenditure more just in case?

              • No I think that they should tax the wealthy so that the deficit is addressed.
                 
                Audrey Young in the Herald says this:
                 

                Bill English’s plan to return the country to surplus sounds good but feels flimsy.
                It is based on heroic assumptions of a strong economic economy, high wage growth and and nothing going wrong.

                 

                • PeteG

                  Labour would be backing the ponzi treadmill growth strategy too wouldn’t they?

                  John Pagani on Stuff says “there is nothing here to create faster growth”.

                  Maybe we need to consider alternatives to continued growth to try and pay for yesterday.

                  • Judging by their past performance they will pay debt off and create jobs.
                     
                    I see the CT attack lines are being fed to the trolls …

                • joe bloggs

                  If tax, tax and more tax is Labour’s answer to the current economic climate then you’re welcome to the opposition benches.

                  Better to control spending than more death by a thousand taxes.

                  You might not appreciate the colour of this budget but Standard and Poors certainly does.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Ah yes, Standard & Poors, one of the ratings agencies that gave sub-prime home loans Triple A ratings. Going from their past performance I don’t think that listening to them is a credible way to make decisions for our future.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    You might not appreciate the colour of this budget but Standard and Poors certainly does.

                    Which would be why they took us off negative outlook yeah?

                    Nah.

                    So according to S&P this budget changes nothing.

            • Peter 3.1.2.1.1.2

              The billion dollar question, where will growth come from? They don’t say do they.

              • PeteG

                We must grow our exports – maybe they should consider double bunking cows.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  We’re already doing that – it’s where all the pollution in our rivers and lakes is coming from.

          • lprent 3.1.2.1.2

            Compulsory employer contributions to Kiwisaver to rise to 3% – that’s a 50% increase over the current level – makes up for the reduction in Govt support.

            You mean after they dropped the level from 4% down to 2% in 2008? Don’t be more of a fool than usual.

            You forgot that the arseholes are planning to sell off many remaining assets to overseas ownership. Did you notice that there is no limitation of sales to foreign owners?

            • RobC 3.1.2.1.2.1

              Not to mention the employer contribution will now be taxed. FFS joe bloggs read and understand before you open your mouth

  4. ZeeBop 4

    Debt was Labours problem, inherited from them, that’s why John Key found
    the money to drop the top rate of tax and send us into massive borrowing.

    Looking backwards, English promises to repeat the tried and trued solutions
    that worked so well because oil was in real terms getting cheaper. This
    is now no longer the case. Its like a car owner saying he can drive
    as far on the same amount of money he did a decade ago, sure if you
    ignore the current price of oil, and the future of peak oil scarcity.

    Its a shameful waste of a taxpayers money to fund a bunch of lying
    blind morons who run our country.

  5. Bernard Hickey is picking up on the heroic assumption theme:
     

    The government has bet the economy will come right and it doesn’t need to significantly cut government spending to get its borrowing under control.
    That all makes sense if you believe in GDP growth rates of 1.8 per cent, 4.0 per cent and 3.0 per cent over the next three years.
    The trouble is the Treasury has overestimated GDP growth rates since 2008 by around 2-3 percentage points of GDP as households and businesses elected to repay debt.
    The government is essentially betting that households and businesses will start borrowing again and stop repaying so much debt.
    That’s an heroic assumption given household debt to disposable income ratios are still well above anything normal and the sort of growth implied by Treasury’s forecasts will be accompanied by floating mortgage rates of close to 8 per cent.
    The government has not understood that this time it is different, as Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart wrote in their analysis of economic growth and debt levels after the financial crises of the last century. Economic growth is significantly slower for up to a decade after a crisis, particularly when a nation is labouring under heavy debt, as New Zealand is.

    The National Party, making shit up so that it can be reelected and sell all our stuff …
     

  6. And Brian Fallow has seen the same thing:
     

    This may well have been a good Budget – if it was delivered this time next year.
    Right now it is risky to freeze government spending.
    It is based on a strong pick-up in the economy.
    But that recovery at this point only exists in economists’ forecasts.
    It is not there yet, plain for all to see, in the data coming out of Statistics NZ.
    There are huge uncertainties around the forecasts and the risks, as economists like to say, are “to the downside”.

  7. David Cunliffe also has a comment:
     

    National is also pinning its hopes on growth that it has failed to deliver in the past three years. With no sign of an economic plan from this government there is no reason to think that these growth projections will materialise.
    This is more of the same from National. Every budget it has promised that growth is just around the corner. Every time that growth hasn’t occurred and the government has had to borrow more instead.
    The lack of an economic development plan is breath-taking. There is no credible strategy for jobs and growth. National is completely out of ideas.
    There is no plan to grow savings and capital sufficiency or improve investment incentives for a modern high-value economy.

    The thing that really attracts attention is that Blinglish has used Treasury’s more rosy predictions of tax income and ignored a more conservative IRD prediction that was $4 billion lower.
     
    New Zealand, you have been conned.

  8. burt 8

    I saw the idiots. How can you possibly explain to people who think they know in advance what is in the budget that tax payer funded KiwiSaver is like playing the pokies. The govt extracts more money from you than it can ever return to you because it had administration costs – the we call it free money. So they protest wanting the govt to take probably close to $2,000 off them so it can give them $1,040 back ! Yeah – churn rocks !

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      I seriously doubt there are $960 in admin fees for every member of kiwisaver who gets the government tax matching. Assuming we have 1 million people that qualify for at least some of it, that would be $960m just in administration costs.

      Try again, burt.

      • felix 8.1.1

        Sorry Lanth, burt thought it up more than a week ago.

        I tells ya it’s locked in now and no amount of logic or simple maths is ever gonna shift it.

        • burt 8.1.1.1

          felix

          Tax payer funded (dollar for dollar matching up to $1,040) for KiwiSaver is not redistribution, it is not taking from anyone to give to someone else – it is only paid to people who pay enough tax to have enough spare to contribute to KiwiSaver – Why do you defend it like it is redistribution from the wealthy to the needy – it is not.

          • Lanthanide 8.1.1.1.1

            pssst, burt, you get the “tax credit” if you put in $1040 to kiwisaver. It doesn’t matter how much tax you actually paid. This means beneficiaries can also get $1040 worth of “tax credits” every year if they deposit $1040 in their kiwisaver.

            • burt 8.1.1.1.1.1

              OK sure, beneficiaries earning over $26,000 might choose to contribute 4% to KiwiSaver.

              The key point here is that if we had a zero rated tax threshold I would agree more with the idea that taxing people to give it back to them is good social policy. Because it would provide most benefit to low earners and non tax payers. However the tax paid by a person earning $26,000 would be $3,570. I wonder if we polled these people what they would choose, $1,040 less tax taken or $1,040 added to KiwiSaver. I guess nanny knows best what’s good for low earners and it’s not her fault if they can’t afford 4% of their earnings to access it.

              Meanwhile higher earners don’t thank them enough for funding their tax credits and I get called a fool for pointing it out.

              • Lanthanide

                burt, you still don’t get it.
                 
                Someone who earns $10,000 a year, can choose to take some of their after-tax pay and deposit it, voluntarily, into kiwisaver, and get the $1040 “tax credit”.
                 
                Btw, I’m just highlighting the fact that you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re welcome.

      • burt 8.1.2

        Would you feel better if I said $1,400 needs to be extracted to deliver $1,040. You only have to pay $360/year to get your own money back…..

        Felix – perhaps you could direct credit your pay to me and I’ll give some of it back to you and you can think I’m fabulous for giving you free money ????

        • felix 8.1.2.1

          No burt I don’t think I’ll do that as we have a system already in place which works far more efficiently than your fantasy one.

          Thanks anyway.

      • burt 8.1.3

        You might also want to look at this;

        http://wheresmytaxes.co.nz/

        IRD costs us $1,445.71 each every year….

        But hey, if you like paying people to give your own money back to you then sure – keep your head in the sand and pretend it is free money.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.3.1

          Translated:
          Oh noes, we have to pay to have necessary work done, Woe is meeeee!

          Fuck you’re an idiot burt, clinging to oversimplified slogans that totally misrepresent the complexities of the issue you’re trying to address.

          • burt 8.1.3.1.1

            What are you on about Draco ? Sure there is a cost to managing the scheme and that is necessary. But are you really saying it’s essential to collect money from us to give much of it directly back to us ?

            Hell if you think that is necessary then please let me manage your income for you – I’ll only take a small cut for being the middle man who gives it directly back to you – a function you seem to think is necessary.

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.3.1.1.1

              No you fucken moron, I’m saying that it’s necessary to have the IRD and at $1500 per year each is pretty damn cheap. Hell, some accountants charge more than that for simple book keeping on one persons accounts.

              • burt

                Yes, and if they choose to add it too their own superannuation scheme (KiwiSaver or not) then they pay nobody for that financial exchange.Why take it off low earners in the first place?

                I know nanny needs to live, but really, how many minimum wage level workers contribute 4% to KiwiSaver to get the same benefit higher earners are getting for doing something they have probably always done?

                Now if the first $1,040 in income tax paid each year was credited to your KiwiSaver scheme rather than having to put hard cold cash in there then sure recycling (churn) makes sense.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  That, as expected, fails to make any sense.

                  How much of the $1500 per year each that we’re paying goes into administering Kiwisaver? Or, to put it in terms that you might be able to understand, The $1500 covers more than just the administration of Kiwisaver.

                  Why take it off them in the first place? Because it caters to human nature and so becomes a more reliable way of getting people saving for their retirement. And it’s not given straight back to them but put in an account that they can’t touch until they retire.

                  As I said, clinging on to simplistic slogans that fail to engage the complexities of the issues that you’re trying to address.

                  • burt

                    Hey Dracko, I like getting paid others peoples tax to do what I have always done as well, but that’s not making it good social policy.

              • Colonial Viper

                The best efficiency is when the IRD collects money from tax payers, and uses it to pay the Chinese Government the interest that we owe them on our loans.

                Instead of using that tax money to, you know, provide public services and core infrastructure for New Zealanders.

                • burt

                  Yes CV, the empty kitty and the stalled domestic economy has forced borrowing. Think back though CV, remember Cullen talking about saving for a rainy day. Well he paid of debt but didn’t save much and over bid for a rusty old train set just before he left office. He seemed to think the sun would shine forever.

                  Do you honestly think Labour would have continued their surpluses had they stayed in power?

                  Just like 1990-1993 all over again and forelock tugging apologists blame National ! Unbelievable.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    real simple reasons to hold National responsible:

                    they have held the reins of power for 2.5 years
                    they gave tax cuts to advantage the already rich ahead of all others
                    they bailed out rich investors involved in high risk speculative activity
                    they have no plan or way out other than to sell the family silver

                    Cullen 9 straight years of surpluses, English 3 years straight as a loser.

                    • Mac1

                      And they told lies to get into power in 2008. No change to GST, Kiwisave, Working for Families. Told lies, had no plan apart from enrich more the already rich, total failure as a budget and as a government.

                      Labout had 9 years of low unemployment, surpluses and responsible fiscal management. No comparison, really, CV.

                    • burt

                      9 Years of surplus eh…

                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/budget-2008/news/headlines.cfm?c_id=1501935

                      The deteriorating state of the Government books show that New Zealanders are hurting from the combination of the economic…

                      The government’s bank balance has moved further into the red. New Zealand’s fiscal position worsened in March…

                      All the growth in the Treasury’s December economic and fiscal update is in the wrong things – such as unemployment, fiscal deficits and Crown debt…..

                      Investment losses unveiled in today’s crown accounts are higher than expected but the overall plunge into the red is in line with predictions, National’s finance spokesman Bill English says.

                      The government’s financial statements show the crown operating balance was $757m in deficit at September 30, against a forecast surplus of $943m…

                      You shouldn’t repeat people who just say shit because it fits the way they wish it were CV. .

                    • Colonial Viper

                      That’s a bullshit link burt, it doesn’t go anywhere where that quote is supposedly from.

                      English – 3 deficit strikes and he’s out :)

                      And I just found this from Cullen from the same article you little shit

                      Once assets were taken into account the Crown’s net financial position was positive, standing at about 5.7 per cent of GDP.

                      “This strong balance sheet position vindicates the Government’s decision not to blow the surplus in good times.

                      Cullen saved for a rainy day and English has blown it all and then some in less than 3 years.

                  • felix

                    burt, I’ve forgotten what your main issue with all this was.

                    Can you remind me please?

  9. Jum 9

    It was most interesting to hear Amy Adams at 5.18pm today telling us that Union Members do not work hard.

    Unions might like to pass that comment on to their members and families.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    New Zealand – you have been warned. You vote John and Don in this year, and you can expect things to keep sliding backwards in an increasingly ugly way.

    • chris73 10.1

      Exactly, Johns told us what hes expecting to do so if (when) hes re-elected it’ll be because we want it to happen

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    1 day ago
  • Should Environmentalists Care About Poverty?
    Perhaps heightened by the leadership contest in the Green Party, there appears to be a debate going on about where environmentalism fits into the political spectrum. I am not a member of the Green Party (nor any other, for that… ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Inoculating against science denial
    Science denial has real, societal consequences. Denial of the link between HIV and AIDS led to more than 330,000 premature deaths in South Africa. Denial of the link between smoking and cancer has caused millions of premature deaths. Thanks to… ...
    1 day ago
  • A year ago today – Auckland’s first electric trains
    A year ago today transport in Auckland was forever changed as the first electric trains started carrying passengers – although they didn’t start running in normal service till the following day. Electrifying Auckland’s rail network is something that had been… ...
    1 day ago
  • Media Link: Anzac Day panel on future conflicts.
    Commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the ill-fated assault at Gallipoli prompted Radio New Zealand to convene a special panel on the evolution and future of conflict since those tragic and futile days in 1915. I was invited to participate… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Australian cops shut down Aboriginal Anzac Day march
    The article below deals with the erasing of the Frontier Wars in Australia.  Something similar has happened in relation to the Land Wars in New Zealand.  The wars of conquest and confiscation of Maori land are totally eclipsed by carefully-constructed… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • After World War 1: the horrors of peace at home (Australia)
    The small number of people involved in Redline means we simply don’t have the possibility to cover everything we’d like to.  This includes some very important stuff.  For instance, an article about what NZ soldiers came home to, an equivalent… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Anzac Day II
    I spent a couple of hours at our local RSA on Saturday. It was well past the traditional solemnity of the morning, well into the drinking. The old fellows drank like soldiers and the soldiers, there in their uniforms, with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Pony-tails, panic and PR spin.
    How Crosby-Textor propose to rescue Key from the fall out over his casual Pony-Tail stroking.Rumour has it that the Crosby-Textor spin machine that elevated John Key to the leadership of the National Party and thence to Prime Minister of NZ… ...
    the Irascible CurmudgeonBy Alan Papprill
    2 days ago
  • Poor peer review – and its consequences
    See below for citations used The diagram above displays links between the journal, editors and reviewers in the case of the paper Malin & Till (2015). I discussed these links before in Poor peer-review – a case study  but thought… ...
    2 days ago
  • Capture: April Come She Will
    Over the month of April I've started a number of threads, but not quite found the time or inspiration to reach a critical mass.Looking back though, it was a fairly packed month, as we ease our way into autumn.So here's… ...
    2 days ago
  • Has John Key tugged off more than he realises?
    John Key's pony-tail-gate controversy seems to have divided people into two camps. The vast bulk of New Zealanders (to purloin a Key-ism) can agree on the fact that it's weird... and out of order. But then there are those who… ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Rodney Hide: They’re all after me, man…
    The state apparently has me under covert investigation. It all started a couple of weeks ago when I was followed home by some guy in a long coat and dark glasses. It was 27 degrees and cloudy. My friends have… ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • The road to Mike Hosking, vilifier of young women
    Some of us have always seen radio announcer Mike Hosking as a puffed-up little prat. I was there at Broadcasting House when this shortish young guy with a big voice and a very strange manner arrived in the Network Newsroom.… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Hey RaboDirect, if Mike Hosking’s selling you, I’m not buying.
    A nasty side of radio announcer Mike Hosking spilled out into view last week as he ‘bashed’ the victim of John Key’s serial bullying. Hosking, supported by TVNZ’s OneNews, sponsored by RaboDirect, vilified the waitress whom the Prime Minister admits… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Is Auckland boring enough?
    Via Jarrett Walker, I recently ran across a provocative article by Aaron Renn in the Guardian: “In praise of boring cities“. Renn takes his fellow urbanists to task for the narrowness of their vision about what makes a good city:… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago

  • More hype and half-truths from Coleman
    The rising incidence of rheumatic fever has nothing to do with ‘families having a better understanding of the disease’ as the Health Minister wants us to believe but everything to do with his failure to address the root causes of… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Regional air routes must be maintained
    The Government must use its majority shareholding to make sure Air New Zealand cooperates with second tier airlines stepping into the regional routes it has abandoned, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Air New Zealand’s cancellation of its Kaitaia, Whakatane,… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Action needed on decades old arms promise
    Nuclear weapons states must honour the unequivocal promise they made 45 years ago to disarm, says Labour’s Disarmament Spokesperson Phil Goff. Mr Goff is attending the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in New York. ...
    11 hours ago
  • Worker safety top of mind tomorrow and beyond
    Workers’ Memorial Day, commemorated tomorrow, is both a time to reflect and to encourage a better safety culture in all workplaces, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway.“On Worker’s Memorial Day, working people across New Zealand will remember those… ...
    1 day ago
  • Communities forced to stomach water woes
    Confirmation by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman that he is to wind up a water quality improvement scheme will leave thousands of Kiwis with no alternative but to continue boiling their drinking water, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. The Drinking… ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour calls for immediate humanitarian aid for Nepal
    The Government should act immediately to help with earthquake relief efforts in Nepal, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The Nepalese Government is appealing for international assistance following yesterday’s massive quake. The full impact is only now being realised… ...
    2 days ago
  • New holiday reflects significance of Anzac Day
    Anzac Day now has the full recognition that other public holidays have long enjoyed, reflecting the growing significance it has to our sense of identity and pride as a nation, Labour MP David Clark says.“The importance of the 100th Gallipoli… ...
    2 days ago
  • Housing crisis hurting export growth
    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    4 days ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    5 days ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    5 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    5 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    6 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    6 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    6 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    6 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    1 week ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago

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